Samuel Wagstaff papers, 1932-1985

Wagstaff, Samuel J., b. 1921 d. 1987
Curator, Collector, Dealer
Active in New York, N.Y.; Detroit, Mich.

The papers of Samuel J. Wagstaff in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 7,614 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art


Collection size: 6.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: The Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985, comprise 6.2 linear feet of correspondence, writings, miscellaneous records, printed material, and photographs documenting Wagstaff's professional and personal relationships with artists and photographers, his career as an art curator, and his position as an important collector of paintings and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note: Samuel Wagstaff (1921-1987) was an art dealer and curator from New York, N.Y. Formerly a curator of 20th century art at the Wadsworth Atheneum (1961-1968) and at the Detroit Institute of Arts (1968-1971), in 1973 Wagstaff began collecting photographs. He subsequently moved to New York and amassed one of the largest privately held collections, focusing primarily on American, British and French works from the 19th century.

Donated 1975-1986 by Samuel Wagstaff. Collection processed and correspondence microfilmed 1993 with funds provided by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

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  • The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2008 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Materials not digitized include books, reproductions, and sales catalogs.
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